Thursday, 24 June 2010

Where is this?

Can you imagine these images are of Saudi Arabia?. There are some beautiful places to explore here in mysterious Arabia. Have a look at photographer Awadh Al-Hamzani's website for more amazing images of his.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

I used to dream of warmer places......

But with the temperature rising here to 50 degrees celcius I find myself dreaming of the long carefree days of summer in England.

Photos taken on our last trip back to England.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Art of Creativity

When I was younger I visited Harrinaya just outside Cairo where Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Center is.
I fell in Love with this beautiful, inspiring place.
Ramses built his art center on his theory of creativity which basically states his belief that creativity is innate in us all, but is driven out by modern education.
He taught a group of children weaving techniques and gave them freedom to weave from their imagination.

Today their are pieces from the center in the collections of many museums and palaces including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert museum.

The Building itself designed by Ramses Wissa Wassef is inspired by Nubian Architecture. I loved its organic nature, the play on shadow and light, it had such a peaceful atmosphere.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Divine Fragrance

From On the Erythraean Sea, Second Century BC
The Greek Sailor Agatharchides of Cnidus Writes of The Coast of Arabia;

'After these people are those called Carbae and after them the Sabeans who are the most populous of the Arab peoples.They inhabit the region called Eudaemon Arabia (Fortunate Arabia) which bears most of the products considered valuble by us. It also supports herds of animals of all kinds in untold abudance. A natural sweet smell pervades the whole country because almost all the plants which are pre-eminent for the fragrance grow unceasingly. Along the coast grows the plant called balsam and cassia and another kind of herb which has a peculiar character. When fresh it gives great pleasure to the eyes, but when aged, it quickly fades. In the interior there are dense forests in which there are large frankincense and myrrh trees and in addition palm trees, calamus and cinnamon trees and others which have a fragrance similar to these. It is not possible to enumerate the peculiarities and characteristics of each because the amount and overwhelming impact of the combined fragrance from all the trees. For the fragrance appears as something divine and greater than the power of speech to describe as it strikes and stimulates the senses of everyone. As for persons sailing along the coast, although they are far from land, that does not prevent them from sharing this kind of pleasure for in summer, when there is an offshore breeze, it happens that the fragrance which is given off by the myrrh and other such trees reaches nearby parts of the sea. The case is not as in our countries where the aromatics, having been stored, have a stale quality but, as its power is fresh and in full bloom, it penetrates to the most delicate parts of the senses. For when the breeze carries away the exhalations of the most fragrant trees, a mixture of the noblest perfumes falls on persons sailing towards the coast which is pleasant and powerful as well as healthful and unique since the fruit has not been cut into pieces and lost its peculiar perfection nor has it been stored in vessels of another substance; but it is at its peak of freshness and its divine nature maintains its shoot unblemished so that individuals, who partake of its special quality, think that they have enjoyed the mythical ambrosia because they are unable to discover another apellation that is appropriate to the extraordinary character of its fragrance.'

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Welcome to my Saudi Arabian home, My journey here started in my favorite Lebanese cafe in an English town an age ago. A chance meeting, a shared drawing, the best cafe au lait and a glance into his eyes. All led here.......

And here I am many years later dreaming on the Arabian Coast.